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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

{Part IV of Husband Pieter's Trip to India - Solan, Himachal Pradesh}

From the visit to one of the Maharaja's residences in my previous post, see below, we now continue to Solan in Himachal Pradesh State.
Nature in March starts looking at its best, lots of fruit trees are blooming on the slopes of the hills.
Husband Pieter did climb atop of these beacons for having a better view of the valley.
Here is the car in which they traveled, with the driver to the left.
Another Dutch gentleman on the right, who also had opted for traveling to the rural areas instead of staying close to the University of Delhi's Research.
Just to give you an oversight, from the Patiala, Punjab capital they were now heading towards Solan where the red dot is, in the Himachal Pradesh State.
Center top shows you The Great Himalayan National Park
Transport...
Children on their way to school, carrying the typical Himachal Pradesh book bag, made from jute thread.
Mountains and a quite different Flora...
A look down below the valley where a river peacefully weaves its way.
A little bit more to the right and amazing to see cacti growing here!
What a view!
How they cultivated all those terrasses in the mountains!
Makes one feel like being on top of the world...
Clouds are coming in here.
Narrow walk ways through the fields...
Yes, and here people are living!
Homes...
Visiting the Department of Agriculture
Husband Pieter is the one wearing the batik shirt and the brown leather bag...
He is checking the compost, the substrate for mushroom growing.
In front of the Department of Agriculture with Dr. Jan Daik, one of Pieter's former students.
Looking at their mushroom growing facility...
One of the girls working inside such a mushroom growing room.
Another girl watering the mushrooms...
Looking away at the snow capped Himalayas...
Snow capped Himalayas and huge deodar ceders with catle.
Marked in yellow: The Great Himalayan National Park...
Related links:
{Part III of Husband Pieter's Trip to India - Maharaja Amarinder Singhm, Patiala Punjab} | previous post by me
{Part II of Husband Pieter's Trip to India - Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh} | previous post by me
{Part I of Husband Pieter's Trip to India  - Arrival in New Delhi} | previous post by me
{The Mission of H.R.H. Prince Claus - Husband Pieter's Trip to India} | previous post by me

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

{R.I.P. Dear Mom}

Dear, loyal readers... this is not a happy tiding but I want to share with you that I have lived through 17 days of guiding my dear Mom in The Netherlands on her final journey home. Guiding her from Georgia USA...
Home to heaven and home to the place where 7 of her 8 children were born. 
Being in an ambulance four times, and twice with my youngest brother at her side, she finally came home.

The last night in the hospital my dear youngest brother, together with my second brother sat at her side until 1:00 PM today, January 27, when she finally got to ride home...
I feel so blessed for having these two brothers that included me, on a distance of 8,436 km by doing FaceTime, so I could actually see my sweet and brave Mom. I could hear her and talk to her. Unforgettable experience and with that I can live till I die; feeling very fuzzy and warm.
When my youngest brother rode on the ambulance home with her, she died shortly upon arrival.

R.I.P. dear Mom!



 On March 22, 1996 when Mom stayed for 4 weeks with me, her eldest daughter, and Pieter, her son-in-law, I had professionally made a complete series of photographs of my Mom.
Those photos I treasure forever, with her soft and happy smile!
~
Here with us in Georgia, she could relax, feel pampered and loved and as a result of that, look beautiful.
Our dear friends invited us for dinner and she was the hit of the evening.
Everyone found her looking much younger than on her previous visit in 1987.

Mom did stay a total of 4 times with us and last time she stayed 6 weeks and thanked me over and over for all we did for her. Words cannot express what you did for me she said.

With that and such soft, happy photos, I can age happily as this is living proof that I managed to give her something back after so many years of LTC (Loving Tender Care).

She's now with my Angel Sister in Heaven and never will have pain again or lie lonely on her bed during dialysis...

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone. - Harriet Beecher Stowe

Those that attacked us for NOT showing up at Mom's funeral, due to Pieter's health issues, because of heart cramps, and me still going to rehab for my hand, we forgive their act of bitterness.

May they too find the Peace that is in our hearts!


Feeling humbled for the 1251 views of this post...

Related link:
{My Angel Sister & Mariette's Back to Basics Explained} | previous post by me

{Our Vinyl Picket Fence Extended}

When we did have heavy rains on Christmas Day, husband Pieter had a very close look at our extended Picket Fence from the previous year's Water Control job: {Our New Retainer Wall & Vinyl Picket Fence} ←click it.
He than decided it needed still TWO more extensions...
This is on December 30, 2014 after I'd ordered two more at the nearest +Lowe's Home Improvement store and Pieter picked them up, together with some posts. He already had bought the concrete blocks and cement for the foundation.
As you can see, two of our cat-boys are helping him! 
Perfect day for completing this project, even a bit sunny.
You can see our huge oak tree being trimmed up quite a lot.
That will give the Japanese magnolia to the left more light and space for growing.
Of course, our neighbors agreed with this extension!
The foundation is done, concrete blocks laid and now connecting the panels to the posts...
Our Spicy girl is acting as supervisor...
She planted herself on a strategic point where she can overlook the entire back yard.
Our white pansies are blooming so happily in the Fiberglass Window Boxes from Flower Framers of Cincinnati.
December 30, 2014 at 5:29 PM I made this photo after it got all done!
Our neighbors for sure will enjoy the view of this Vinyl Picket Fence as well.
Talking about neighbors, we have 10 neighbors surrounding our property. Here to the left you can see in fact three homes, that gives you an idea about the distances.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

{Part III of Husband Pieter's Trip to India - Maharaja Amarinder Singh, Patiala Punjab}

When husband Pieter was traveling to the north of India, for the Dutch Government, following the Mission of H.R.H. Prince Claus in 1981, people wanted very much for him to meet with Maharaja Amarinder Singh from Patiala, Punjab. 
One of the most impressive letters my husband Pieter ever received, were these from Maharaja Amarinder Singh...
Look at the Royal Blue with Gold in the Crest!
Sent from Motibagh Palace, Patiala in the State of Punjab, India

Soon after Pieter's English version of Modern Mushroom Growing got published, the Maharaja who was a mushroom grower himself at the time, read about it in the English Mushroom Journal.
So he very much would like to have a copy himself...
Scanning the letter with its Royal Blue & Gold embossed seal, proved not to be easy.
 But, the in detail photos, made outside with the camera at least give you a fair idea about its beauty.
Motibagh Palace...
One of Pieter's English books was sent to the Motibagh Palace in Patiala.
And now, Pieter was in India, himself and only 2-½ years after this royal correspondence.

Maharaja Amarinder Singh's Father, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh, also happened to have great knowledge of agriculture and horticulture.
He also had been appointed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of The Netherlands. Unfortunatly he died at the Hague on June, 1974, at the age of 61...
Maharaja Yadavindra Singh the Father of Amarinder ←click it
Maharaja Yadavindra Singh of Patiala ←click it
This was one of Maharaja Amarinder Singh's residences...
BUT, as fate would have it; the Maharaja himself was not available for a personal meeting.
They did however, show Pieter this residence and these are a few of the photos he was able to take...
This is not a good photo but since the occasion was so unique, I still want to show you how such a royal blue room looked like.
Even complete with a blue bathroom...
Maharani Preneet Kaur posts her wedding picture on FB ←click it
~
For a much better glimpse of Patiala - City of Kings, please see this video below:
Hoping you enjoyed this post, about something other than ordinary...
Related links:
{Part II of Husband Pieter's Trip to India - Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh} | previous post by me
{Part I of Husband Pieter's Trip to India  - Arrival in New Delhi} | previous post by me
{The Mission of H.R.H. Prince Claus - Husband Pieter's Trip to India} | previous post by me

Friday, January 23, 2015

{Pleurotus Ostreatus in Wood Garden Provided Meal}

A nice and welcome surprise... finding several meals in our Wood Garden because Pleurotus Ostreatus were growing on some decaying wood.
Look at this basket full of Pleurotus Ostreatus from our own Wood Garden!
As already mentioned earlier in a post, toadstools or mushrooms do digest e.g. lignin.
Here they are digesting some old trees and producing nice fruit bodies.
Some more on the outside of the cut down tree...
Within a couple of days they are ready for harvesting.
The total picture...
Several times that did yield us a nice harvest of fresh, home grown Pleurotus Ostreatus!
You can buy those also at some grocery stores.
Showing you their lamellae, on the underside where spores are being formed for next generations.
Perfect Pleurotus Ostreatus with their beautiful lamellae.
After washing and cleaning them, removing the hard stems and cutting them, they got sauteed in olive oil. 
With some garlic, onions and Beef-less Ground Beef from +Trader Joe's they make a great and heart healthy lunch!

Related links:
{FRESH Made Pasta Sauce} | previous post by me showing you the Beef-less Ground Beef from Trader Joe's.
{Olympia's Greek Moussaka Vegan Style} | previous post by me showing you the Beef-less Ground Beef from Trader Joe's


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